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Controls to Eliminate Broken Rails in Service

[+] Author Affiliations
John Tunna, Carlo Patrick

Federal Railroad Administration, Washington, DC

Jeff Gordon

Federal Railroad Administration, Cambridge, MA

David Jeong

Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, Cambridge, MA

Paper No. JRC2016-5705, pp. V001T06A001; 9 pages
doi:10.1115/JRC2016-5705
From:
  • 2016 Joint Rail Conference
  • 2016 Joint Rail Conference
  • Columbia, South Carolina, USA, April 12–15, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Rail Transportation Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4967-5

abstract

Broken rails in freight and passenger revenue service occur due to single, or combinations of, faults or failures of various kinds. These may occur due to limitations inherent in the rail defect inspection process, track maintenance and renewal practices, and may also arise due to changes in operating conditions. The Government and the industry have developed regulations, standards and procedures to control these issues and reduce broken rail occurrences. This paper presents a broken rail fault tree as a way of visualizing the problem. It describes current controls and shows how they map onto the fault tree. Examples of recent broken rail derailments are used to illustrate the fault tree. Lessons learned are used to identify areas where further tightening of controls or the imposition of new controls may be required to further reduce the number of, and potentially eliminate, broken rails in service.

Topics: Rails

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